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17. Definitions. Accessory structure or use - a use or structure which is incidental and subordinate to the principal use or structure. Accessory uses, when aggregated shall not subordinate the principal use of the lot. A deck or similar extension of the principal structure or a garage attached to the principal structure by a roof or a common wall is considered part of the principal structure.

Agriculture - the production, keeping or maintenance for sale or lease, of plants and/or animals, including but not limited to: forages and sod crops; grains and seed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; livestock; fruits and vegetables; and ornamental and green house products. Agriculture does not include forest management and timber harvesting activities.

Aggrieved party - an owner of land whose property is directly or indirectly affected by the granting or denial of a permit or variance under this Ordinance; a person whose land abuts land for which a permit or variance has been granted; or any other person or group of persons who have suffered particularized injury as a result of the granting or denial of such permit or variance.

Aquaculture - the growing or propagation of harvestable freshwater, estuarine, or marine plant or animal species.

Basal Area - the area of cross-section of a tree stem at 4 1/2 feet above ground level and inclusive of bark.

Basement - any portion of a structure with a floor-to-ceiling height of 6 feet or more and having more than 50% of its volume below the existing ground level.

Boat Launching Facility - a facility designed primarily for the launching and landing of watercraft, and which may include an access ramp, docking area, and parking spaces for vehicles and trailers.

Campground - any area or tract of land to accommodate two (2) or more parties in temporary living quarters, including, but not limited to tents, recreational vehicles or other shelters.

Coastal wetland - all tidal and subtidal lands; all lands below any identifiable debris line left by tidal action; all lands with vegetation present that is tolerant of salt water and occurs primarily in a salt water or estuarine habitat; and any swamp, marsh, bog, beach, flat or other contiguous low land which is subject to tidal action during the maximum spring tide level as identified in tide tables published by the National Ocean Service. Coastal wetlands may include portions of coastal sand dunes.

Commercial use - the use of lands, buildings, or structures, other than a "home occupation," defined below, the intent and result of which activity is the production of income from the buying and selling of goods and/or services, exclusive of rental of residential buildings and/or dwelling units.

Dimensional requirements - numerical standards relating to spatial relationships including but not limited to setback, lot area, shore frontage and height.

Disability - any disability, infirmity, malformation, disfigurement, congenital defect or mental condition caused by bodily injury, accident, disease, birth defect, environmental conditions or illness; and also includes the physical or mental condition of a person which constitutes a substantial handicap as determined by a physician or in the case of mental handicap, by a psychiatrist or psychologist, as well as any other health or sensory impairment which requires special education, vocational rehabilitation or related services.

Driveway - a vehicular access-way less than five hundred (500) feet in length serving two lots or less.

Emergency operations - operations conducted for the public health, safety or general welfare, such as protection of resources from immediate destruction or loss, law enforcement, and operations to rescue human beings, property and livestock from the threat of destruction or injury.

Essential services - gas, electrical or communication facilities; steam, fuel, electric power or water transmission or distribution lines, towers and related equipment; telephone cables or lines, poles and related equipment; gas, oil, water, slurry or other similar pipelines; municipal sewage lines, collection or supply systems; and associated storage tanks. Such systems may include towers, poles, wires, mains, drains, pipes, conduits, cables, fire alarms and police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants and similar accessories, but shall not include service drops or buildings which are necessary for the furnishing of such services.

Expansion of a structure - an increase in the floor area or volume of a structure, including all extensions such as, but not limited to: attached decks, garages, porches and greenhouses.

Expansion of use - the addition of one or more months to a use's operating season; or the use of more floor area or ground area devoted to a particular use.

Family - one or more persons occupying a premises and living as a single housekeeping unit.

Floodway - the channel of a river or other watercourse and adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the 100-year flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation by more than one foot in height.

Floor area - the sum of the horizontal areas of the floor(s) of a structure enclosed by exterior walls, plus the horizontal area of any unenclosed portions of a structure such as porches and decks.

Forest management activities - timber cruising and other forest resource evaluation activities, pesticide or fertilizer application, management planning activities, timber stand improvement, pruning, regeneration of forest stands, and other similar or associated activities, exclusive of timber harvesting and the construction, creation or maintenance of roads.

Forested wetland - a freshwater wetland dominated by woody vegetation that is six (6) meters tall or taller.

Foundation - the supporting substructure of a building or other structure including but not limited to basements, slabs, sills, posts or frostwalls.

Freshwater wetland - freshwater swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas, other than forested wetlands, which are:

1. Of ten or more contiguous acres; or of less than 10 contiguous acres and adjacent to a surface water body, excluding any river, stream or brook, such that in a natural state, the combined surface area is in excess of 10 acres; and

2. Inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and for a duration sufficient to support, and which under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of wetland vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soils.

Freshwater wetlands may contain small stream channels or inclusions of land that do not conform to the criteria of this definition.

Functionally water-dependent uses - those uses that require, for their primary purpose, location on submerged lands or that require direct access to, or location in, coastal or inland waters and that can not be located away from these waters. The uses include, but are not limited to commercial and recreational fishing and boating facilities, excluding recreational boat storage buildings, finfish and shellfish processing, fish storage and retail and wholesale fish marketing facilities, waterfront dock and port facilities, shipyards and boat building facilities, marinas, navigation aids, basins and channels, retaining walls, industrial uses dependent upon water-borne transportation or requiring large volumes of cooling or processing water that can not reasonably be located or operated at an inland site, and uses that primarily provide general public access to coastal or inland waters.

Great pond - any inland body of water which in a natural state has a surface area in excess of ten acres, and any inland body of water artificially formed or increased which has a surface area in excess of thirty (30) acres except for the purposes of this Ordinance, where the artificially formed or increased inland body of water is completely surrounded by land held by a single owner,

Great pond classified GPA - any great pond classified GPA, pursuant to Title 38 Article 4-A Section 465-A. This classification includes some, but not all impoundments of rivers that are defined as great ponds.

Height of a structure - the vertical distance between the mean original grade at the downhill side of the structure and the highest point of the structure, excluding chimneys, steeples, antennas, and similar appurtenances which have no floor area.

Home occupation - an occupation or profession which is customarily conducted on or in a residential structure or property and which is 1) clearly incidental to and compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses; and 2) which employs no more than two (2) persons other than family members residing in the home.

Increase in nonconformity of a structure - any change in a structure or property which causes further deviation from the dimensional standard(s) creating the nonconformity such as, but not limited to, reduction in water body, tributary stream or wetland setback distance, increase in lot coverage, or increase in height of a structure. Property changes or structure expansions which either meet the dimensional standard or which cause no further increase in the linear extent of nonconformance of the existing structure shall not be considered to increase nonconformity. For example, there is no increase in nonconformity with the setback requirement for water bodies, wetlands, or tributary streams if the expansion extends no further into the required setback area than does any portion of the existing nonconforming structure. Hence, a structure may be expanded laterally provided that the expansion extends no closer to the water body or wetland than the closest portion of the existing structure from that water body or wetland. Included in this allowance are expansions which in-fill irregularly shaped structures.

Individual private campsite - an area of land which is not associated with a campground, but which is developed for repeated camping by only one group not to exceed ten (10) individuals and which involves site improvements which may include but not be limited to gravel pads, parking areas, fire places, or tent platforms.

Industrial - The assembling, fabrication, finishing, manufacturing, packaging or processing of goods, or the extraction of minerals.

Lot area - The area of land enclosed within the boundary lines of a lot, minus land below the normal high-water line of a water body or upland edge of a wetland and areas beneath roads serving more than two lots.

Marina - a business establishment having frontage on navigable water and, as its principal use, providing for hire offshore moorings or docking facilities for boats, and which may also provide accessory services such as boat and related sales, boat repair and construction, indoor and outdoor storage of boats and marine equipment, boat and tackle shops and marine fuel service facilities.

Market value - the estimated price a property will bring in the open market and under prevailing market conditions in a sale between a willing seller and a willing buyer, both conversant with the property and with prevailing general price levels.

Mineral exploration - hand sampling, test boring, or other methods of determining the nature or extent of mineral resources which create minimal disturbance to the land and which include reasonable measures to restore the land to its original condition.

Mineral extraction - any operation within any twelve (12) month period which removes more than one hundred (100) cubic yards of soil, topsoil, loam, sand, gravel, clay, rock, peat, or other like material from its natural location and to transport the product removed, away from the extraction site.

Minimum lot width - the closest distance between the side lot lines of a lot.

Multi-unit residential - a residential structure containing three (3) or more residential dwelling units.

Non-conforming lot - a single lot of record which, at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Ordinance, does not meet the area, frontage, or width requirements of the district in which it is located.

Non-conforming structure - a structure which does not meet any one or more of the following dimensional requirements; setback, height, or lot coverage, but which is allowed solely because it was in lawful existence at the time this Ordinance or subsequent amendments took effect.

Non-conforming use - use of buildings, structures, premises, land or parts thereof which is not permitted in the district in which it is situated, but which is allowed to remain solely because it was in lawful existence at the time this Ordinance or subsequent amendments took effect.

Normal high-water line - that line which is apparent from visible markings, changes in the character of soils due to prolonged action of the water or changes in vegetation, and which distinguishes between predominantly aquatic and predominantly terrestrial land. In the case of wetlands adjacent to rivers and great ponds, the normal high-water line is the upland edge of the wetland, and not the edge of the open water.

Person - an individual, corporation, governmental agency, municipality, trust, estate, partnership, association, two or more individuals having a joint or common interest, or other legal entity.

Piers, docks, wharves, bridges and other structures and uses extending over or beyond the normal high-water line or within a wetland.

Temporary: Structures which remain in or over the water for less than seven (7) months in any period of twelve (12) consecutive months.

Permanent: Structures which remain in or over the water for seven (7) months or more in any period of twelve (12) consecutive months.

Principal structure - a building other than one which is used for purposes wholly incidental or accessory to the use of another building or use on the same premises.

Principal use - a use other than one which is wholly incidental or accessory to another use on the same premises.

Public, facility - any facility, including, but not limited to, buildings, property, recreation areas, and roads, which are owned, leased, or otherwise operated, or funded by a governmental body or public entity.

Recent flood plain soils - the following soil series as described and identified by the National Cooperative Soil Survey:

Fryeburg Haley Limerick

Lovewell Medomak Ondawa

Alluvial Cornish Charles

Podunk Rumney Saco

Suncook Sunday Winooski

Recreational facility - a place designed and equipped for the conduct of sports, leisure time activities, and other customary and usual recreational activities, excluding boat launching facilities.

Recreational vehicle - a vehicle or an attachment to a vehicle designed to be towed, and designed for temporary sleeping or living quarters for one or more persons, and which may include a pick-up camper, travel trailer, tent trailer, camp trailer, and motor home. In order to be considered as a vehicle and not as a structure, the unit must remain with its tires on the ground, and must be registered with the State Division of Motor Vehicles.

Replacement system - a system intended to replace: 1.) an existing system which is either malfunctioning or being upgraded with no significant change of design flow or use of the structure, or 2.) any existing overboard wastewater discharge.

Residual basal area - the sum of the basal area of trees remaining on a harvested site.

Residential dwelling unit - a room or group of rooms designed and equipped exclusively for use as permanent, seasonal, or temporary living quarters for only one family. The term shall include mobile homes, but not recreational vehicles.

Riprap - rocks, irregularly shaped, and at least six (6) inches in diameter, used for erosion control and soil stabilization, typically used on ground slopes of two (2) units horizontal to one (1) unit vertical or less.

River - a free-flowing body of water including its associated flood plain wetlands from that point at which it provides drainage for a watershed of twenty five (25) square miles to its mouth.

Road - a route or track consisting of a bed of exposed mineral soil, gravel, asphalt, or other surfacing material constructed for or created by the repeated passage of motorized vehicles.

Salt marsh - Areas along coastal waters (most often along coastal bays) which support salt tolerant species, and where at average high tide during the growing season, the soil is regularly inundated by tidal waters. The predominant species is saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). More open areas often support widgeon grass, eelgrass, and Sago pondweed.

Salt meadow - Areas which support salt tolerant plant species bordering the landward side of salt marshes or open coastal water, where the soil is saturated during the growing sea-son but which is rarely inundated by tidal water. Indigenous plant species include salt meadow cordgrass (Spartina patens) and black rush; common threesquare occurs in fresher areas.

Service drop - any utility line extension which does not cross or run beneath any portion of a water body provided that:

1. in the case of electric service

a. the placement of wires and/or the installation of utility poles is located entirely upon the premises of the customer requesting service or upon a roadway right-of-way; and

b. the total length of the extension is less than one thousand (1,000) feet.

2. in the case of telephone service

a. the extension, regardless of length, will be made by the installation of telephone wires to existing utility poles, or

b. the extension requiring the installation of new utility poles or placement underground is less than one thousand (1,000) feet in length.

Setback - the nearest horizontal distance from the normal high-water line to the nearest part of a structure, road, parking space or other regulated object or area.

Shore frontage - the length of a lot bordering on a water body measured in a straight line between the intersections of the lot lines with the shoreline at normal high-water elevation.

Shoreland zone - the land area located within two hundred and fifty (250) feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line of any great pond, river, or saltwater body; within 250 feet of the upland edge of a coastal or freshwater wetland; or within seventy-five (75) feet of the normal high-water line of a stream.

Significant River Segments - See Title 38 MRSA Sec. 437.

Stream - a free-flowing body of water from the outlet of a great pond or the confluence of two (2) perennial streams as depicted on the most recent edition of a United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute series topographic map, or if not available, a 15-minute series topographic map, to the point where the body of water becomes a river or flows to another water body or wetland within the shoreland area.

Structure - anything built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, goods or property of any kind, together with anything constructed or erected with a fixed location on or in the ground, exclusive of fences. The term includes structures temporarily or permanently located, such as decks and satellite dishes.

Substantial start - completion of thirty (30) percent of a permitted structure or use measured as a percentage of estimated total cost.

Subsurface sewage disposal system - a collection of treatment tank(s), disposal area(s), holding tank(s) and pond(s), surface spray system(s), cesspool(s), well(s), surface ditch(es), alternative toilet(s), or other devices and associated piping designed to function as a unit for the purpose of disposing of wastes or wastewater on or beneath the surface of the earth. The term shall not include any wastewater discharge system licensed under 38 MRSA Section 414, any surface wastewater disposal system licensed under 38 MRSA Section 413 Subsection 1-A, or any public sewer. The term shall not include a wastewater disposal system designed to treat wastewater which is in whole or in part hazardous waste as defined in 38 MRSA Chapter 13, subchapter 1.

Sustained slope - a change in elevation where the referenced percent grade is substantially maintained or exceeded throughout the measured area.

Timber harvesting - the cutting and removal of trees from their growing site, and the attendant operation of cutting and skidding machinery but not the construction or creation of roads. Timber harvesting does not include the clearing of land for approved construction.

Tributary stream - a channel between defined banks created by the action of surface water, whether intermittent or perennial, and which is characterized by the lack of upland vegetation or presence of aquatic vegetation and by the presence of a bed devoid of topsoil containing waterborne deposits on exposed soil, parent material or bedrock, and which flows to a water body or wetland as defined. This definition does not include the term "stream" as defined elsewhere in this Ordinance, and only applies to that portion of the tributary stream located within the shoreland zone of the receiving water body or wetland.

Upland edge - the boundary between upland and wetland.

Vegetation - all live trees, shrubs, ground cover, and other plants including without limitation, trees both over and under 4 inches in diameter, measured at 4 1/2 above ground level.

Velocity zone - an area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of the primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources.

Volume of a structure - the volume of all portions of a structure enclosed by roof and fixed exterior walls as measured from the exterior faces of these walls and roof.

Water body - any great pond, river, stream or tidal area.

Water crossing - any project extending from one bank to the opposite bank of a river or stream, whether under, through, or over the water course. Such projects include but may not be limited to roads, fords, bridges, culverts, water lines, sewer lines, and cables as well as maintenance work on these crossings.

Wetland - a freshwater or coastal wetland.

Wetlands associated with great ponds and rivers - wetlands contiguous with or adjacent to a great pond or river, and which during normal high water, are connected by surface water to the great pond or river. Also included are wetlands which are separated from the great pond or river by a berm, causeway, or similar feature less than 100 feet in width, and which have a surface elevation at or below the normal high water line of the great pond or river. Wetlands associated with great ponds or rivers are considered to be part of that great pond or river.


  • EFFECTIVE DATE: January 13, 1988 (Filed as 06-101, Ch. 1)

  • AMENDED: March 24, 1990 (Filed as 06-096, Ch. 1000)

  • June 19, 1991 - Sections 15 and 17

  • July 14, 1992 - Sections 4, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16 & 17

  • August 7, 1994 - Sections 3, 14 & 16



  • December 29, 1997 - minor spelling and formatting.

  • April 1, 1998 - minor renumbering and formatting.

  • AMENDED: February 6, 1999